Given our travel to Alabama last week, it was a short cooking week last week, and another short week for this one as well. But I managed to sneak in a few good meals, which was especially important given that my Dad was visiting for a few days.
Our dog sitter was kind enough to pick up (and wash/bag) my farm share produce, God bless her, which this week was made up of every shade of green.
- Swiss chard
- Kirby cucumbers
- Mariachi peppers
- Green beans
- Green peppers
- Fresh basil
- Romaine lettuce
- Sweet corn
Since we got in on Sunday night and my Dad was set to arrive on Monday afternoon, I didn’t have much shopping or prep time, so most of what I cooked during his visit was from the share and a good scrounge through the refrigerator.
After a travel snafu that got my Dad in a few hours later than planned, we decompressed on the dock with a bottle of rosé and a big platter of deconstructed wedge salad. I’ve seen the Smitten Kitchen version in Deb’s cookbook, and this one comes pretty close with layers of iceberg lettuce stacked and coated in a lemony buttermilk dressing. Although the iceberg lettuce wasn’t from my CSA box, I’d picked it up on a whim at the store thinking that it would be a perfect match for the smoky local bacon from the Ringwood farmer’s market each weekend.
To make the lemony buttermilk iceberg wedge:
Make a 1lb package of bacon using your favorite method. Set aside to cool. While the bacon is cooling, make the lemony buttermilk dressing by mixing 1/3 cup of buttermilk with the juice of a half lemon. Add 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt for body, season with salt and pepper, and then gradually whisk in 1/3 cup of olive oil to emulsify. Set aside.
Cut the iceberg lettuce into quarters, removing the tougher core, and separating the lettuce into large leaves. Prep the rest of the salad ingredients: Break the bacon into crumbles; dice ½ pint of cherry tomatoes; crumble ¼ lb of blue cheese, slice 2-3 green onions crosswise.
To assemble the salad, layer 1/3 of the iceberg lettuce, and 1/3 of the remaining ingredients on top, ending with the dressing. Complete two more layers like this, ending with the dressing (reserving a few green onions for the top). Sprinkle the salad with the remaining green onions, and give the whole thing a big grinding of black pepper and a pinch of smoked Maldon salt.
My dad always seems to be on a diet so I backed off of the bacon-studded waffle plan and kept him on a steady breakfast/lunch feed of tomatoes and avocados with a squeeze of lime.
But at a certain point, I have to cave and cook real food. I can only see someone consume so much prune juice and Special K.
Starved for a little substance, I made one hell of a dinner with the corn and potatoes from our share, along with one of my favorite dishes of all time: pomegranate chicken, which is lacquered with homemade pomegranate molasses just before serving. If you want the recipe, be sure to track it down in this post.
My old neighborhood butcher in Chelsea recommended this preparation for potatoes and I’ve used it a few times since – it’s foolproof, and the best way to get them to that ethereal place where soft and crispy come together in one perfect bite.